Well Alex left yesterday on his first two week break since joining WildEarth. He has arrived in Cape Town and plans to make a trip into the Namibian desert on his own. James is back from his break and will be filling in for Alex on camera, until Pieter gets back tomorrow. So for the next week or so Pieter and Rexon will both present and do camera ... with a little help from James and Jan directing.
After this morning's drive James packed all 4 battery chargers into his car and made a bee line for Nelspruit, where Danie is standing by to make some alterations to the voltage that the chargers operate at. According to our calculations this should make a big difference to the duration of the drives. He will only get back just before this afternoon's drive, so WE won't have had time to test the new chargers, and as a result this afternoon's drive may be even shorter than usual. However, the repaired chargers will work through the night and tomorrow morning's drive should tell us whether or not our calculations are right. WE do, of course, know that the batteries have lost some of their capacity and will need replacement, but WE just want to see by how much first.
On another note, Maxx has written a comment requesting that WildEarth "come clean" in respect of the CDN (Content Distribution Network) that will allow more than 80 people to watch the stream simultaneously. He has suggested that many of you do not believe WE, because we began discussing the need for this CDN in May 2007 and still nothing has happened. We understand the frustration of not being able to get a 'slot' ... WE share it with you. However, I would like to explain exactly what is going on.
WildEarth is a content wholesaler. That is to say: WE license our 24 hour per day stream to broadcasters, currently Telkom Media, and they are responsible for distributing the stream to an audience and converting that distribution into revenue. Telkom Media is a relativley young broadcaster which will be coming of age in 2008. They do not yet have the billing systems, administrative systems, customer relationship systems, network, etc. in place yet, to provide a world class quality of service at a level that they would be comfortable taking your subscription money and have therefore elected to wait until they do. They are working hard to implement these, and other, systems, and I am assured that they will be of the absaloute highest standard.
Furthermore, WildEarth would also like to see some significant changes and upgrades to the content before you, our valued audience, are expected to begin paying for this service. WE are working on two brand new game drive vehicles, more waterholes, a much better final control, 100% power reliability in all circumstances and three times the crew.
Notwithstanding the apparant slow pace of these developments, if you stop to think about it you will realise that there is no way so many skilled and experienced people would go to so much effort to only broadcast to 80 people ... and loose a great deal of money in the process.
WE are only just beginning ... and you are the beta testers ... its in your nature ... and WE thank you for that.